The Different types of Tea and their Health Benefits

Tea, next to water is the cheapest beverage humans consume. Drinking the beverage tea has been considered a health-promoting habit since ancient times. The modern medicinal research is providing a scientific basis for this belief. Tea is used as a popular beverage worldwide and its ingredients are now finding medicinal benefits. Tea consumption has also been shown to be useful for prevention of many debilitating human diseases that include maintenance of cardiovascular and metabolic health. Various studies suggest that polyphenolic compounds present in green and black tea are associated with beneficial effects in prevention of cardiovascular diseases, particularly of atherosclerosis and coronary heart disease. Evidence is accumulating that catechins and theaflavins, which are the main polyphenolic compounds of green and black tea, respectively, are responsible for most of the physiological effects of tea. 

While some brews provide more health advantages than others, there’s plenty of evidence that regularly drinking tea can have a lasting impact on your wellness.

Here are some different types of Tea with their Health benefits.

Green Tea

Green tea originates from China, where the leaves are processed with heat using a pan-firing or roasting method and Japan, where the leaves are more commonly steamed.

Green tea is exceptionally high in flavonoids that can help boost your heart health by lowering bad cholesterol and reducing blood clotting. Studies show this type of tea can also help lower blood pressure, triglycerides and total cholesterol.

Other research has found that green tea has a possible impact on liver, breast, prostate and colorectal cancers. This tea variety has also shown to be anti-inflammatory, which helps keep your skin clear and glowing.

Green tea’s antioxidants may interfere with the growth of bladder, breast, lung, stomach, pancreatic, and colorectal cancers; prevent clogging of the arteries, burn fat, counteract oxidative stress on the brain, reduce risk of neurological disorders like Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s diseases, reduce risk of stroke, and improve cholesterol levels.

In recent years, matcha – a form of green tea – has grown in popularity. Matcha is a very fine, high-quality green tea powder made from the entire leaves of tea bushes grown in the shade. Since it is the only form of tea in which the leaves are ingested, matcha contains even more antioxidants that regular green tea. In fact, some have suggested that one cup of matcha is the equivalent to 10 cups of regular green tea.

White Tea

Known to have a delicate flavor, white tea comes from the Camellia sinensis plant that’s native to China and India. It is also the least processed tea variety.

Research shows it may be the most effective tea in fighting various forms of cancer thanks to its high level of antioxidants. White tea may also be good for your teeth since it contains a high source of fluoride, catechins and tannins that can strengthen teeth, fight plaque, and make it more resistant to acid and sugar.

One study showed that white tea has the most potent anticancer properties compared to more processed teas.

This variety also offers the least amount of caffeine, making it a smart choice for tea drinkers who want to avoid or limit their caffeine consumption.

Black Tea

Black tea is made from the leaves of the Camellia sinensis plant, the same plant that’s used to make green tea. However, the leaves are dried and fermented, giving black tea a darker color and richer flavor.

Unlike many other varieties, black tea is caffeinated, so it’s important to monitor your intake. When you do pour yourself a cup of black tea, you benefit from flavonoids that combat inflammation and support healthy immune function.

Black Tea is made with fermented tea leaves, which has contain the highest caffeine content and forms the basis for flavored teas like chai, along with some instant teas. Studies have shown that black tea may protect lungs from damage caused by exposure to cigarette smoke. It also may reduce the risk of stroke.

However, you don’t have to merely drink black tea to benefit from its healthy properties. It can be steamed, cooled and then pressed on minor cuts, scrapes and bruises to relieve pain and reduce swelling. A black tea bath can also ease inflammation caused by skin rashes and conditions such as poison ivy.

Oolang Tea

Oolong tea is a traditional Chinese tea variety that’s made from the same plant used to make green and black teas. The difference is how the tea is processed: Green tea is not allowed to oxidize much, but black tea is allowed to oxidize until it turns black. Oolong tea is somewhere in between the two, so it is partially oxidized. This partial oxidation is responsible for oolong tea’s color and characteristic taste.

Oolong tea is notable for containing l-theanine, an amino acid that reduces anxiety and increases alertness and attention. Scientists have found that l-theanine can help prevent cognitive diseases such as Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s diseases.

Oolong tea is also high in polyphenols, which are linked to lowering inflammation, preventing the growth of cancers and decreasing type 2 diabetes risk.

In an animal study, those given antioxidants from oolong tea were found to have lower bad cholesterol levels. One variety of oolong, Wuyi, is heavily marketed as a weight loss supplement, but science hasn’t backed the claims.

Herbal Tea

Herbal teas, sometimes called tisanes, are very similar to white teas, but they contain a blend of herbs, spices, fruits or other plants in addition to tea leaves. Herbal teas don’t contain caffeine, which is why they’re known for their calming properties.

There are numerous types of herbal teas, all with their unique benefits. Some of the most popular herbal teas include:

Peppermint – Contains menthol, which can soothe an upset stomach and serve as a cure for constipation, irritable bowel syndrome and motion sickness. This tea variety also offers pain relief from tension headaches and migraines.

Ginger – Helps to fight against morning sickness, can be used to treat chronic indigestion and helps to relieve joint pain caused by osteoarthritis

Hibiscus – Lowers blood pressure and fat levels, improves overall liver health, can starve off cravings for unhealthy sweets, and may prevent the formation of kidney stones

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